Definition: A butcher’s shop specializing in pork products. A pork butchers.
Origin: The Latin ‘carnum’, meaning ‘meat’, and ‘cuit’, meaning ‘cooked, became ‘charcutier’ in Middle French. By the mid-1800s, it entered the English language as charcuterie, meaning a butcher’s store that specialized in pork products.
Why This Word?
That there would be a word referring to a store that exclusively sold pork products was news to me – but then, I guess it sort of makes sense. In the mid-1800s, many stores would have been linked directly to the farm. Farms at that time were specialized. They rarely raised more than one type of animal. Thus, if a farm raised only pigs, why not, then, sell the meat in a shop that specialized in pork? There is the logic to it.
How to use the word charcuterie in a sentence?
There are still a few charcuteries around – though, admittedly, not many. Today, those that survive, specialize in sausage, pork patés and hams.
It is possible that there may still be a space for this word. Nowadays, a business needs to find its unique selling point (USP) in order to find its niché. Many butchers are becoming specialists in different types of meat – so why not go the whole hog and call themselves a charcuterie?